Small Business Assistance Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a GSA Number?
You may have gone into the office of a federal agency to try to sell your products or services to them, and the first thing they asked you was, "Do you have a GSA number?" A GSA number is a GSA Federal Supply Schedule contract number. You can get a GSA number by downloading a solicitation, which is an invitation to submit an offer, from the FedBizOpps website. Then, you will need to send your offer to the GSA contracting officer listed in the solicitation package. The Contracting Officer will review your offer and let you know if additional information is required. If you meet all the requirements, you may be awarded a GSA Federal Supply Schedule Contract, which means you have been approved by that contracting officer to sell your products or services to the federal government.
- What's the advantage of having a GSA Number?
GSA's Schedules program is the preferred method of procurement for the federal government. Federal agencies prefer to buy from GSA Schedules because they know they are getting an approved product. Also, it means GSA has done all the legwork for them and negotiated the best price and the best value for their dollar.
- How long will it take me to get a GSA Number?
In many cases, the average time is 70 days. However, in some cases, due to the economy and the volume of offers received, it may take our Acquisition Centers a bit longer to evaluate. This is generally true for the Information Technology and MOBIS schedule, where the contracting staff may receive up to a hundred offers per week!
- Once I get a contract, how will I know where to sell my products and/or services?
As a contract holder, you will be required to upload information about your awarded products and/or services onto the GSA Advantage web site. GSA Advantage is the worldwide shopping network that any federal agency can access and browse to locate and buy a wide variety of products and services from GSA Schedule contracts, and you will be listed along with these vendors. Also, you will need to market your Schedules contract to the federal community, as sales are not guaranteed.
GSA also has a Small Business Utilization Center in all of its eleven national regions. Each center maintains its own procurement directory, which is a listing of all the federal agencies in the region who have buying authority. Listings for each agency include a point of contact, phone number, and the type of items and/or services they are authorized to buy. You can find a complete listing of the Small Business Utilization Centers at the Office of Small Business Utilization website.